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International Travel To Canada On The Rise As Pandemic Restrictions Lift: StatCan

In March 2022, the number of international arrivals to Canada increased compared with March 2021, but remained below 2019 levels, before the COVID-19 pandemic.

While residents of overseas countries made over five times the trips to Canada in March 2022 than during the same month in 2021, it was under half (43.0%) of the trips observed in March 2019.

Likewise, US residents made almost five times the trips to Canada in March 2022 than in March 2021. However, this represented less than one-third (31.9%) of the trips taken in the same month in 2019.

Compared with March 2021, Canadian residents made over six times more trips home from visiting abroad in March 2022, but this was just over one-third (37.1%) of the trips taken in March 2019.

For more up-to-date estimates of international arrivals into Canada, please see April’s “Leading indicator of international arrivals to Canada.”

Border restrictions ease

In February 2022, the Government of Canada announced a phased easing of travel requirements issued in late 2021 to combat the Omicron variant. As of February 28, travellers entering Canada were given the option of providing a negative COVID-19 rapid antigen test, taken the day prior to their scheduled flight or arrival at the land border.

On the same day, restrictions as to where international passenger flights could arrive in Canada were lifted, and such flights were, once again, permitted to land at all international Canadian airports.

Since pandemic travel restrictions were first felt mid-month in March 2020, pre-pandemic comparisons are made with March 2019.

Overseas visitors continue to increase

In March 2022, 148,900 overseas residents arrived in Canada. While this was over five times the number of such arrivals in March 2021, it was under half (43.0%) of overseas residents who entered Canada during the same month in 2019, before the pandemic.

The number of visitors from major markets continues to increase, with European visitors jumping from 5,600 in March 2021 to 68,800 in March 2022, and visitors from Asia increasing from 12,100 to 33,700 over the same period. Both remained below March 2019 levels, as did visits from other overseas residents.

More US residents arrive in Canada

In March 2022, US residents took 465,200 trips to Canada, almost five times as many as in March 2021 (95,900). However, this was less than one-third (31.9%) of the 1.5 million such trips taken in March 2019.

Of the total arrivals in March 2022, 310,300 were by automobile—with over two-fifths (42.0%) being same-day returns (130,400)—a jump from the total of 90,100 in 2021. Again, the March 2022 total was less than one-third (30.4%) of the 1.0 million such arrivals before the pandemic in March 2019.

Canadian trips to the United States growing

Canadian residents returned from 1.3 million trips to the United States in March 2022, more than five times as many as in March 2021 (256,900), but one-third (33.4%) of the 4.0 million such trips in March 2019.

Of the total returning Canadian trips, 775,800 were by automobile, with just under half (47.8%) being same-day trips.

While the number of return air trips by Canadian residents rose steeply from 18,900 in March 2021 to 549,300 in 2022, this was under half (48.3%) the number of such trips from the same month in 2019, before the pandemic.

More Canadians holiday overseas

It appears that many Canadian resumed March-break vacations in 2022 as 685,000 residents returned from visiting overseas, up from 48,800 in March 2021. While a healthy jump, it is still under half (47.4%) of the 1.4 million returning Canadians flying back home in March 2019.

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